Floridians hoping to hit it big with huge lottery pots

By: Jake Stofan | Capitol News Service
August 11, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) -- If you're feeling lucky, this weekend's Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots have a combined total of $749 million up for grabs.

The hype behind the record-setting jackpots is boosting ticket sales in Florida.

For the first time ever, both jackpots are over $300 million at the same time.

Those looking to win big are coming out in droves, which is good for Florida schools.

"It's about education. It's about entertainment. It's about our players having fun," said Jim Poppell, the secretary of the Florida Lottery. "And, it's about us being able to do good for our students in Florida."

As of this morning, Floridians were spending $2,100 every minute of every hour on Powerball tickets, and just slightly less on Mega Millions.

Both games are played across 44 states, but Floridians have been pretty lucky in the past. Mega Millions has made 44 Floridians millionaires, while 240 Sunshine State natives have won over $1 million through Powerball.

The Florida Lottery told us repeatedly it wants to remind people to play responsibly. Earlier this year, Governor Rick Scott vetoed legislation that would have required warning labels on each ticket sold.

"It only takes one ticket to win, and playing in that way, this is great entertainment," Poppell continued. "We would like our players to have the excitement or the possibility of the win, but to play responsibly."

Since May, the two national drawings have raised $43 million for Florida schools.

The next drawing for Mega Millions is Friday at 11 p.m. Powerball drawings will be held on Saturday night at the same time.

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